G-force Definition and 4 Discussions

The gravitational force equivalent, or, more commonly, g-force, is a measurement of the type of force per unit mass – typically acceleration – that causes a perception of weight, with a g-force of 1 g (not gram in mass measurement) equal to the conventional value of gravitational acceleration on Earth, g, of about 9.8 m/s2. Since g-forces indirectly produce weight, any g-force can be described as a "weight per unit mass" (see the synonym specific weight). When the g-force is produced by the surface of one object being pushed by the surface of another object, the reaction force to this push produces an equal and opposite weight for every unit of an object's mass. The types of forces involved are transmitted through objects by interior mechanical stresses. Gravitational acceleration (except certain electromagnetic force influences) is the cause of an object's acceleration in relation to free fall.The g-force experienced by an object is due to the vector sum of all non-gravitational and non-electromagnetic forces acting on an object's freedom to move. In practice, as noted, these are surface-contact forces between objects. Such forces cause stresses and strains on objects, since they must be transmitted from an object surface. Because of these strains, large g-forces may be destructive.
Gravity acting alone does not produce a g-force, even though g-forces are expressed in multiples of the free-fall acceleration of standard gravity. Thus, the standard gravitational force at the Earth's surface produces g-force only indirectly, as a result of resistance to it by mechanical forces. It is these mechanical forces that actually produce the g-force on a mass. For example, a force of 1 g on an object sitting on the Earth's surface is caused by the mechanical force exerted in the upward direction by the ground, keeping the object from going into free fall. The upward contact force from the ground ensures that an object at rest on the Earth's surface is accelerating relative to the free-fall condition. (Free fall is the path that the object would follow when falling freely toward the Earth's center). Stress inside the object is ensured from the fact that the ground contact forces are transmitted only from the point of contact with the ground.
Objects allowed to free-fall in an inertial trajectory under the influence of gravitation only feel no g-force, a condition known as zero-g (which means zero g-force). This is demonstrated by the "zero-g" conditions inside an elevator falling freely toward the Earth's center (in vacuum), or (to good approximation) conditions inside a spacecraft in Earth orbit. These are examples of coordinate acceleration (a change in velocity) without a sensation of weight. The experience of no g-force (zero-g), however it is produced, is synonymous with weightlessness.
In the absence of gravitational fields, or in directions at right angles to them, proper and coordinate accelerations are the same, and any coordinate acceleration must be produced by a corresponding g-force acceleration. An example here is a rocket in free space, in which simple changes in velocity are produced by the engines and produce g-forces on the rocket and passengers.

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  1. M

    Finding the 'g-force' of a decelerating falling mass.

    Hey all, I need a reality check and verification on some work I have been doing. I feel as though I might be too close to the problem now and am missing something about this. It's also been a few years since I studied physics at University, so I'm a little rusty. Problem: An initially...
  2. A

    Why do Jet fighter pilots experience a greater G-force?

    Hi! I'm a high school student, aspiring to pursue a career in Astronautical Engineering. I always try and ponder on questions about everyday aerodynamics and physics. So, here's a question from you from an aspiring scholar. It is known that, at high velocities, pilots in super-sonic jet...
  3. M

    Calculating Cyclic Energy from Acceleration (Relative)

    Hello, I am looking at relating two situations under which cyclic energy is applied to a material. Condition 1: A material has been subjected to a force of 1G at 0.1Hz for 47 days. Condition 2: The same material has been subjected to a force of 4.5G at 60Hz for 3600Seconds. Is it possible to...
  4. C

    Is G-force Impact force?

    Hi, I am dropping an object of mass m at different heights on another body. From the accelerometer I have I can get the g-force and then convert it into Newtons. What I am wondering, is the force converted into Newtons equal to the impact force the mass exerts on the body?